Rejecting a Guest Post

reject-a-guest-postAccepting guest posts at your blog is a great way to build your readership, create relationships with other bloggers, give your readers access to another perspective and give yourself the occasional day off from writing. There are many bloggers who are willing to provide quality content for your blog in exchange for the exposure and links they receive from a guest post.

But what happens when you request a guest post and you can’t use what is submitted? It may be that it is badly written, or it may be a good post but not right for your blog. Here are some ideas on how to handle the situation:

First, do not ignore the submission. The polite thing to do is to let the blogger know that you can not use the post. Once they know that you are not going to use it, they can submit it to other sites or post it on their own blog.

If appropriate, you might ask for revisions. Maybe the post is close, but just not quite right for you. In that case, you could suggest changes that might make the post work for your blog. Perhaps the language is a little rough for your readership, or the post takes a controversial stand that goes against your beliefs. (Note: One reason to have guest posts is to inject a new perspective, so having a point of view that is different from yours can be a good thing. However, you are not obligated to run posts that you find offensive or in any way inappropriate.) Let them know what would have to change for you to run the post. They can choose to go along with the changes or not.

If the post is all wrong, or just bad, say no. But do it nicely. “Sorry, but this post is not a good fit for my blog. Thank you for submitting it,” would be fine. “What were you thinking? This is rubbish,” uh, not so much.

Chances are that the guest poster attempted to craft a good piece for you. If it misses the mark you don’t have to publish it, but you do have to be nice (or at least polite).

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  1. Very nice post on a delicate subject, Cathy. I’ve had submissions go wrong so often than I’m almost against the whole idea unless it’s someone I already know. Here’s the thing I most object to: you get a post that’s seemingly aligned topically, but it’s loaded with links to totally unrelated content. (Example: someone writing on fashion who manages to work in links to tech companies.) Clearly, these writers are working for those tech companies, hoping to get links all over the web. What do you think about those types of entres? Often, I like the original idea–but I don’t like the links they use because it’s unrelated to my readership.
    Crystal recently posted…Indy’s best fashion bloggers: Madison Hanulak, Preppy Guide to LifeMy Profile

    • Cathy Stucker

      Crystal, the links are important to both the guest poster and the host blogger. The guest poster wants to get links to their site or that of their client, but linking out inappropriately isn’t good for the host. It can harm the host blog with the search engines as well as readers. I have allowed a few over the years where the content was good but the author bio linked out to a site with unrelated content. I am even wary of that these days.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Cathy Stucker recently posted…How To Write a Credible Product Review My Profile

  2. Good post. A lot of bloggers think they have to insultingly explain “why” they rejected a submission. This is NOT necessary! Just do what mainstream magazines do when they get a submission they can’t use: send out a polite form letter saying pretty much what you said in your sample.

    There’s no reason to get into “why” you think the submission sucks. A polite form letter not only is the right thing to do, but it saves you time as well.
    Timothy Arends recently posted…Why Do We Worship the Almighty Google?My Profile

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